Dear Steve & Dave,
I hope that this letter finds you well and enjoying your first days of the new year. Congratulations on some of the milestones that you hit with 2 Guys and a River last year! Publishing The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists was quite the accomplishment. Your podcasts continue to be accessible, entertaining, and helpful. Moreover, the discipline required in putting out consistent content is admirable. Since we’re on the topic of the podcast, I did want to remind you that I still haven’t received the royalty checks for my two appearances. I figured you were waiting for the dollar amount to hit five digits, I understand. I’ll be checking the mailbox this week.
While I’d love for my correspondence to be squarely focused on laying accolade upon accolade at your collective feet, I actually have another reason for reaching out. As any listener of your podcast knows, you love fishing out west. A lot. Montana, Colorado, Wyoming – your passion for these angling destination oozes from the speakers. As you sit in your Chicago offices, pining for days on the Yellowstone or the Madison, it is clear that your fly fishing hearts lie beyond the Mississippi.
Don’t get me wrong: that is great. Everyone has their home waters. These rivers that serve as your muse, your fly fishing happy place, the physical location on this earth that says to your soul “you complete me.”
I’m just asking you to seriously consider some angling opportunities that lie a little more eastward.
For trout, I understand that the west can not be beat. In my limited experience, I have been blown away at the quantity and quality of available trout fishing. Out east, diversity is the name of the game. From my humble home in New England, I can drive less than two hours to get to mountain streams with native trout, large rivers with strong browns or smallmouth, and the coast with all that it has to offer. I know that the west has trout and whitefish, but we have trout and stripers… and bluefish… and bass… the list goes on and on.
Furthermore, the east coast has history. A River Runs Through It has captivated recent generations of fly fishers, and rightly so. Still, that brand of western angling nostalgia only looks as far back as the early 1900’s. Places in the Catskills and Central Pennsylvania are literally the birthplaces of American fly fishing. Two students of the sport such as yourselves would surely appreciate wading in the footsteps of angling giants.
Men, what it really comes down to is a change of pace. I’ll be the first to admit that I go back to the same well over and over again when it comes to fly fishing trips. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I am the chief sinner when it comes to just going where it is comfortable. I like knowing the runs and pools. I like knowing hatch seasons and parking spots. I like knowing where to get a good steak at the end of the day. But I have been trying to remind myself that there are other trout, rivers, and steaks out there.
So what say you? Maine brook trout? Massachusetts striped bass? Carolina catfish? (The last one wasn’t a serious offer.) I’m not necessarily an expert, but I have some experience and know some folks who do know their stuff. Most importantly, I’m adept at figuring out where to get a good steak.
Sincerely, the hopefully-soon-to-be 3rd guy in a river out east,
If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the good sports that comprise 2 Guys and a River, you should absolutely do so. Then, subscribe so that you can listen to each podcast as a new one is released each week. 2 Guys is a great listen for fly fishers of all experience levels, but is a great resource to pass on to the new angler that you might know.